Donations by a local retailer of Garnier toiletries and cosmetics to women soldiers in the IDF was boasted by a pro-Israel website, and the publicity caused a backlash that ended up with Garnier apologizing.
The StandWithUs Israel advocacy group sent the soldiers the products that were donated by Garnier Israel and then publicized the campaign on the StandWithUs Facebook page, with a “shoutout” to Garnier for its contribution.
The company tried to head off criticism with a statement on its Facebook page, in which it disassociated itself from the donation to the IDF.
“Garnier USA is aware of recent activity in social media. It is very important to us that our fans know that Garnier worldwide promotes peace and harmony and has a strict policy of not getting involved in any conflict or political matter.
“Garnier was astonished to discover this in social media. After investigation, the hand-out of about 500 products appeared to be part of a one-time local retailer initiative. Garnier disapproves of this initiative managed strictly at local level and is very sorry to have offended some of its fans.”
Another company that is being careful to disassociate itself form Israel is Starbucks, which issued a statement tried to scotch longtime rumors that the company and its Jewish CEO, Howard Schultz, provide financial support to Israel or the IDF.
The company updated a four-year-old statement on its website after the spread of false rumors.
“Starbucks has been and remains a non-political organization. We do not support any political or religious cause. Additionally, neither Starbucks nor the company’s chairman, president and CEO Howard Schultz provide financial support to the Israeli government and/or the Israeli Army in any way,” the statement said.
The company said in its statement that it closed its Starbucks stores in Israel in 2003 due to “on-going operational challenges that we experienced in that market.”
The company has stores in 65 countries, including nearly 600 stores in 12 Middle Eastern and North African countries such as Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.